RILA fears that banks will begin imposing excessive fees on merchants if House Republicans are successful in repealing the Durbin Amendment.
Recent comments from Jeb Hensarling, House Financial Services chairman, regarding the Durbin Amendment, have evoked a strong reaction from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). The comments from Hensarling revealed that House Republicans have plans to repeal the Durbin Amendment in an effort to replace Dodd-Frank.
Austen Jensen, RILA’s vice president for government affairs, said repealing Durbin would once again allow banks and card networks to impose outrageous fees on merchants across the country, while hurting everyone outside Wall Street.
“If the first step of House regulatory reform consists of giving banks the green light to overcharge merchants and consumers again—mark retailers down opposed and ready for battle.”
The bipartisan Durbin Amendment, which passed the Senate in 2010 with 64 votes, requires that the fees that banks and card networks charge every time a debit card is swiped are “reasonable and proportionate to the cost of processing the transaction. Swipe fees are estimated to cost merchants and consumers $40 billion every year.
“Smart regulation must recognize the difference between Main Street and Wall Street and ensure that consumers and our economy are protected from excessive and risky speculation,” said Jensen. “Retailers support common-sense regulatory reform, but starting with a repeal of the Durbin Amendment makes this package a nonstarter for the retail community.”
“Retailers support revisiting laws and regulations implemented in the wake of unprecedented carnage in the financial sector in 2008, as long as changes do not fleece consumers or leave taxpayers exposed in the event of another financial crisis.”
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.